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Toby's Room

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Booker Prize winner Pat Barker, a masterful novel that portrays the staggering human cost of the Great War. Admirers of her Regeneration Trilogy as well as fans of Downton Abbey and War Horse will be enthralled.

With Toby’s Room, a sequel to her widely praised previous novel Life Class, the incomparable Pat Barker confirms her place in the pantheon of Britain’s finest novelists. This indelible portrait of a family torn apart by war focuses on Toby Brooke, a medical student, and his younger sister Elinor. Enmeshed in a web of complicated family relationships, Elinor and Toby are close: some might say too close. But when World War I begins, Toby is posted to the front as a medical officer while Elinor stays in London to continue her fine art studies at the Slade, under the tutelage of Professor Henry Tonks. There, in a startling development based in actual fact, Elinor finds that her drafting skills are deployed to aid in the literal reconstruction of those maimed in combat.

One day in 1917, Elinor has a sudden premonition that Toby will not return from France. Three weeks later the family receives a telegram informing them that Toby is “Missing, Believed Killed” in Ypres. However, there is no body, and Elinor refuses to accept the official explanation. Then she finds a letter hidden in the lining of Toby’s uniform; Toby knew he wasn’t coming back, and he implies that fellow soldier Kit Neville will know why.

Toby’s Room is an eloquent literary narrative of hardship and resilience, love and betrayal, and anguish and redemption. In unflinching yet elegant prose, Pat Barker captures the enormity of the war’s impact—not only on soldiers at the front but on the loved ones they leave behind.

Synopsis:

A New Yorks Times Notable Book

It is 1917, and Elinor Brooke, a young painter, is studying art in London while her beloved brother Toby serves on the front as a medical officer. When Toby goes missing and is presumed dead, the devastated Elinor refuses to accept it. Then she finds a letter hidden among his belongings; it reveals that Toby knew he wasn’t coming back and implies that his friend, medic Kit Neville, knows why. But Kit has been horribly disfigured and is reeling from shell shock. While Elinor tries to piece together the mystery of what happened to her brother, she uses her drawing skills to aid in the surgical reconstruction of those who have suffered unspeakable losses—of their faces, their memories, their very minds. Masterfully written, daringly ambitious, Toby’s Room explores at all levels what it means to be human.

About the Author

Pat Barker is the author of eleven previous novels, most recently Life Class, as well as the highly acclaimed Regeneration Trilogy: Regeneration; The Eye in the Door, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road, winner of the Booker Prize. She lives in the north of England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307387813
Author:
Barker, Pat
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
fiction;historical fiction;wwi;england;artists;british
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8 x 5.12 x 0.68 in 0.5625 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

Toby's Room New Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307387813 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A New Yorks Times Notable Book

It is 1917, and Elinor Brooke, a young painter, is studying art in London while her beloved brother Toby serves on the front as a medical officer. When Toby goes missing and is presumed dead, the devastated Elinor refuses to accept it. Then she finds a letter hidden among his belongings; it reveals that Toby knew he wasn’t coming back and implies that his friend, medic Kit Neville, knows why. But Kit has been horribly disfigured and is reeling from shell shock. While Elinor tries to piece together the mystery of what happened to her brother, she uses her drawing skills to aid in the surgical reconstruction of those who have suffered unspeakable losses—of their faces, their memories, their very minds. Masterfully written, daringly ambitious, Toby’s Room explores at all levels what it means to be human.

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